Wednesday, July 13, 2011


As Dirty Harry once said, "A man's gotta know his limitations." This is all relative of course. You never know something, unless you try it. And trying something new or different for the first time usually doesn't disappoint.

But, I'm not writing about things like that. It's more like trying to be a Major League Pitcher when you can't throw the ball over home plate. No, that's not me, it's an example. Some things you are just naturally good at, some things you are not.

Well before my "Reflections" post, I have been reflecting on my life. All aspects, home, family, work, friends, God, you name it, I've been thinking about it. You might have noticed that theme in my blog.

I have known for a long time, that I am not especially good at one thing. I fail miserably all the time. But I kept trying, though admittedly, with much skepticism and being overly cautious when I did, which is probably also why I failed.

For the past 5 years, ever since I became an online personality, I have yearned for a more "normal" life. One that has normal hours of work, and to get more time for myself. But when I tried to change these things, I have run into road blocks.

Wanting this change, I had been neglecting the life I am good at. I have spent less time keeping up with my duties and relationships at work. You see, being a Firefighter is not just a job. It's a different kind of life. I'm beginning to think that wanting a change is not what's in my best interest. I'm starting to believe that, at this point in my life, I should just stick with what I know and do best.

I may even give up my online personality, which is kind of the root cause of my straying from what I was doing. Seeing people do regular things and have a regular life, have made me envious of that life. But that isn't my life. Mine is different, and I have to realize that it is, and accept it again.

I have met some great "friends" online. People that I would never had met or come across in real life. And I would miss them if I left this online world. But there are real people, and there are internet people. Real people are people that you do see, meet, or come across and interact with through work or play. Internet people are just the ones you "see" online, people you may not have even met in person.

I don't think that's healthy. Interacting with real people is not the same as interacting with them online. And many experts agree. They believe that the next generation will have a difficult time having normal interactions with each other. Have you seen people having dinner together, both on their smartphones texting away? How is that normal? It's not. I just hope they are not texting each other, that would be the worst.

Anyway, I am still reflecting on things. Maybe I just need more time to figure it all out. But I do know what I'm good at. At least I can fall back on that.

Besides, most of the time, people are always trying to be/do something that they're not. Whether due to peer pressure or just trying to fit in. It's better to just be yourself, and let people love you for who you are. That's what works for me, as most of the time, I rarely did things because "everyone was doing it." I have to do things my own way. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Divine Intervention?

It would take a long time to explain how I feel about this, explaining how I got to this point, but to make it short, I do believe my life is being guided in some ways.

And sometimes specifically. For example, I wanted to become a Firefighter. Back when I started looking for a job as a Firefighter, it was difficult to get a job as one. Thousands would compete for Firefighter jobs. Depending on the City that was hiring, it could have meant 1 open position or 50 positions. I went everywhere there was a job announcement, from Santa Rosa to San Diego, and even Tuscon, Arizona. I passed most of the tests and even had interviews, but I didn't get hired by anyone except Los Angeles and Monterey Park.

When you want to be a Firefighter, you practice doing mock interviews with common questions given during interviews. Most questions are designed to test your honesty, integrity, and decision making skills. One common question has to do with witnessing a Firefighter possibly stealing something of value from a home that was on fire. You are supposed to answer that in two ways. First, you tell the interviewer that the Firefighter may not have the intent to steal these valuable items, but to collect them and to give them to the owners when he got outside. Second, you are to make sure that you report this incident to superiors to let them be aware of the situation, and that if there was any crime involved, you would not condone it.

I was asked this question with the City of San Diego, and I answered this question wrong and knew it. I tried to justify the answer instead of just saying I made a mistake, and I kept digging myself into a deeper and deeper hole. And I knew it. I was even given a chance to possibly fix this when they asked me if there was anything else I'd like to say. I didn't say anything. This totally blew my chance of being hired as a Firefighter for the City of San Diego.

So why did I blow it? I knew how to answer that question, yet, I didn't. I can only say that maybe it wasn't my destiny to work for the City of San Diego. When I got interviewed for the City of Los Angeles, I passed with flying colors. Yet there was a hiring freeze. I eventually did get hired by Los Angeles, and also got a call from Monterey Park.

So I can conclude that not only was I to become a Firefighter, but a Firefighter for the City of Los Angeles, not anywhere else. And it did feel "right." From training through probation, I did well, and was well liked. I was never given a bad evaluation.

Same with me becoming Paramedic trained. I wasn't taken in the first year I volunteered, but they did take me the next year when they had a new "On Duty" school schedule. I believe this schedule helped me pass Paramedic school, as the other way of "leaving" the Fire Dept for a short time and taking classes 5 days a week would have been a burden on my home life, and I would not have had time to study much.

Back then, the LAFD had a shortage of Paramedics which is why I volunteered to become one, and they were being overworked. When I became a Paramedic I was working on one of the busiest assignments in the City. Eventually I became weary of working as a Paramedic. I transferred to a "slower" spot, but it was still busy enough to keep wearing me down.

I decided I needed a break, and work at a "desk job" with regular 9-5 hours within the LAFD. So I looked for an administrative position at our training center. I found one, but it required certain certifications. I had to take and pass a 40 hour class. I did, paid for it on my own, and attended on my own time. Then I was asked to take one more class so that I could be certified in another section of the same unit. This time, the Fire Dept paid for the class, but I went on my own time.

When I was done, I was going to get transferred within a couple of weeks. Then another Firefighter got injured, and was placed in the position that I wanted. That's what we do with injured personnel, give them "desk jobs" until they heal. Then the budget cuts hit, and they streamlined that unit and when the injured Firefighter got better, they cut his position, and there were no more openings for me.

I did find another open position in another training unit, and I thought I was a shoe-in, as I knew both supervisors in charge of the unit. I ended up number 3 out of 3 with only 1 open position. It all worked out though, as budget cuts also cut the positions in that unit. I would have had to look for another position.

It wasn't meant to be, I was meant to stay out in the field as a Paramedic Firefighter. I even tried to transfer out of the Station I am currently at, to a "slower" Station. But that too did not happen. This is really not common, you can usually find administrative positions, or get another spot at another station. Is it Divine intervention or bad luck? I know what it is. The troubling part is, that I don't know why. Or maybe I do, and that's what troubles me.